President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. John Nwodo, have asked the Federal Government to take advantage of coronavirus pandemic to restructure the country, saying Nigeria was currently operating an illegal constitution foisted on the people by the military.
Speaking at the opening session of a video conference organised by Governance Index, tagged, “Coronavirus Pandemic: is it time to reevaluate the political structure of the country,” Nwodo said the constitution was given to Nigerians by the military government, which was not elected by the people.
He added that in 1999, politicians went into the election without knowing the parameters that will guide the democratic process.
According to him, the military wrote the present constitution for the country after abandoning the agreement the nation’s forefathers had with the British before the independence, which was to operate a regional government.
Nwodo said Nigeria’s political parties operate like companies owned by shareholders where there is no freedom to choose the candidates of your choice, stressing that the Nigerian electoral system was the most corrupt and the judiciary the most compromised.
Noting that Nigerians had no confidence in the electoral process, the Ohanaeze leader said: “We have never made constitution for Nigeria, it was given to us by the Armed Forces Ruling Council of the military government, which was not elected. The composition of its legislative body was not chosen by any parameter known to anyone.
“They wrote the constitution and abandoned the agreement our forefathers had with British when we got independence, for a regional based government in which every region has its security, its own economic development, with each exercising sovereignty over its resources and paid taxes to Federal Government to run common services for the federation, but today it is no longer the case.
Boko Haram has completely paralysed our military and rendered them incapable of fulfilling their constitutional obligation to defend our sovereignty. There is mutual distrust between the South and North, I mean far North, excluding Middle Belt.
‘’Working through your farms in any part of Southern Nigeria or the Middle Belt has become a very frightening phenomenon. Our children who take up self-determination exercises without carrying arms are called terrorist organisation, but herdsmen who are on rampage, who loot, kill, and rape are treated with kids gloves, while their leaders threaten us in the social media.
“98 per cent of heads of security personnel in the South East are non-indigenes. As a consequence, there is poor security in the region. Some of us that were trained in Europe and America, we know that in global parlance, local policing is the basis for any territory security.
‘’You have to know your territory, you have to speak the language, but if you post people to our area who do not know the terrain of the place, cannot speak the language, the situation is threatening the very fabric of our nation.
‘’That is why I am very happy to be part of Southern and Middle Belt Forum, which is saying we don’t have a very valid constitution in Nigeria. We have got to restructure this federation and return to a constitution that is top notch, a constitution made by the people, validated by a plebiscite, and voted for by the people.”